posted 3 days ago on techcrunch
 Today’s VR headsets are marvels of miniaturization. And, as iFixit’s teardowns show, both the Oculus Rift and HTC’s Vive are also remarkably user-friendly when it comes to repair and customization. Read More

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posted 3 days ago on techcrunch
 ToyTalk, the startup that mashed together Barbie and the Internet of Things and let your kids chat away with Thomas the Tank Engine for hours on end, is cashing out on the bot craze with a slight realignment of philosophy — and a new name. The company developed a whole toolset — called PullString — to enable writers to create narratives for children’s toys. Read More

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posted 3 days ago on techcrunch
 HTC is devoting more and more resources to virtual reality as it looks to outrun its mobile demons and catch the VR wave before everyone else. Today at a press conference in China, HTC announced that it will be devoting $100 million to a new virtual reality accelerator program for developers called Vive X, VR Focus reports. Applications are live now over on HTC’s site. The accelerator… Read More

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posted 3 days ago on techcrunch
 Android Wear smartwatches come in many shapes and sizes — their watch bands, however, do not. Until now, of course. Read More

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posted 3 days ago on techcrunch
 Can the latest app from Starbucks become the next Kimoji? Nah, probably not. But the company this week has released its first consumer-facing app that’s solely focused on entertainment, as opposed to its core business of selling food and drink. Yes, that’s right. Starbucks has its own emoji keyboard app now, so you can more easily text friends pictures of Frappuccinos, coffees,… Read More

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posted 3 days ago on techcrunch
 Some of the biggest names in tech and corporate America, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, have teamed up with governors and educators to ask Congress to provide $250 million in federal funding to school districts in order to give every single K-12 student in the nation an opportunity to learn how to code.… Read More

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posted 3 days ago on techcrunch
 Microsoft announced this morning the launch of Skype for Business for Mac Preview  – the business-focused version of Skype’s communications services aimed at a commercial client base. I.T. administrators and individuals can sign up to test the new desktop software, which introduces features like Outlook integration, additional security, and calls that allow for up to 250 people… Read More

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posted 3 days ago on techcrunch
 Next time you open up the YouTube app on your iOS or Android phone, you’ll be greeted by a new homepage experience. YouTube brings a new homepage with improved recommendations to its iOS and Android apps Before, YouTube would show you a list of recommended items with small thumbnails, followed by a few more lists of recommended videos about topics you’ve recently shown interested in. Read More

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posted 3 days ago on techcrunch
 Have you ever tried to capture close-up video of yourself or others with a traditional drone? It’s nearly impossible. To solve this problem China-based Zero Zero Robotics has raised $25M to build Hover, a small self-flying drone. The funding is composed mainly of a $23M Series A round from IDG, and China-focused firms GSR Ventures, ZhenFund, ZUIG. While this is the first publicly… Read More

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posted 3 days ago on techcrunch
 Google, Uber and Lyft have joined forces with automakers Volvo and Ford, creating a coalition to influence lawmakers, regulators and the public, Automotive News reported on Tuesday. The new lobby, dubbed The Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets, will be led by David Strickland, long-time safety watchdog who was formerly the head of the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety… Read More

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posted 3 days ago on techcrunch
 If you’re a web developer who wants to make a big impact on TechCrunch, here’s your chance! In preparation for tackling some ambitious projects, our product team has grown rapidly in recent months and we are still looking for one more. There couldn’t be a more exciting time to join us. Read More

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posted 3 days ago on techcrunch
 Wattpad, a popular site where authors can share stories with readers, is announcing its broader ambitions with the launch of a new division called Wattpad Studios. The company describes Studios as a way for Wattpad to partner with the entertainment industry, and it said the new division will operate like the multi-channel networks that work with online video creators. Wattpad Studios builds… Read More

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posted 3 days ago on techcrunch
 Hey all you investors out there, we’re excited to announce the companies that will be on display in the Startup Alley at Disrupt NY, and you can check out every single one of them on our brand-new Startup Alley Hub. In addition to all sorts of great information on Startup Alley companies, the Startup Alley Hub lets you easily follow the companies you’re interested in meeting up… Read More

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posted 3 days ago on techcrunch
 Last quarter, Twitter’s user base (excluding SMS fast-followers) actually shrank — and this was a huge moment for the company. While there were whispers of peak Twitter circling for some time now, that looming theory was finally confirmed in the company’s fourth-quarter results. Twitter had gone from 307 million users to 305 million. Twitter, at one point a rocket-ship,… Read More

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posted 3 days ago on techcrunch
 Amazon is continuing its efforts to crack down on fake, paid-for reviews of the products it sells on its website, by filing yet another lawsuit against those who offer glowing reviews in exchange for cash. In this latest suit, filed on Friday, the company is targeting the operators of five websites engaged in this business practice. The sites offer verified reviews for books and other… Read More

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posted 3 days ago on techcrunch
 There are dozens of task-management and to-do apps in the market today, with some like Any.do, Wunderlist (now owned by Microsoft) and Todoist already used by tens of millions of people to organise their lives and coordinate that with people they know. Now, make way for a new one called WeDo, whose developers believe it can do things better for a wider market of people. Launching… Read More

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posted 3 days ago on techcrunch
 Apple will report its second-quarter earnings, and all eyes are going to be on the company’s iPhone sales. That’s because the big question for Apple is going to be whether or not iPhone sales have hit a wall and that the company will see a year-over-year decline in revenue, marking a significant moment for the company which has traditionally steadily grown iPhone sales to generate… Read More

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posted 3 days ago on techcrunch
 I’m going to drop some science on you — social science — about how to recruit a diverse team of high performers. In 1973, Stanford sociology professor Mark Granovetter published an empirical paper called The Strength of Weak Ties. If you’re wondering about the validity of a 40-year-old study on hiring for today, consider that Professor Granovetter is one of the pioneers… Read More

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posted 3 days ago on techcrunch
 Apple released a couple of new iPhone ads on its YouTube channel. While the second one called ‘Fingerprint’ is in the same vein as previous ads, the first one called ‘Onions’ is a quirky ad and stands out from many Apple ads. Read More

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posted 3 days ago on techcrunch
 New video streaming services are launching left and right these days, and now Time Warner-owned Turner is looking to get a piece of the action for itself, too. The company announced this morning plans to debut an on-demand service focused on films, including both indie titles and mainstream Hollywood hits from major studios, including Warner Bros. Called FilmStruck, the service is being… Read More

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posted 3 days ago on techcrunch
 With the recent announcement of Expa Labs, New York-based Expa has also appointed a new General Manager for the incubator in the form of Eric Friedman. Friedman has been an entrepreneur in residence at Expa Labs since July of last year. Previously, he held BisDev positions at Foursquare and also worked as an analyst at Union Square Ventures. Expa Labs is the newly launched incubator arm of… Read More

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posted 3 days ago on techcrunch
 CoreOS today announced Stackanetes at the OpenStack Summit in Austin. Stackanetes (and yes, that name probably isn’t ideal) brings together OpenStack, the open source cloud computing platform that allows enterprises to run their own AWS-style cloud computing services in their private and public clouds, and Kubernetes, Google’s open source container management service. The… Read More

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posted 3 days ago on techcrunch
 About.com, the IAC-owned media giant, has today unveiled its first standalone brand in the form of Verywell, a site for information around health. Verywell will launch with more than 50,000 pieces of content ranging from common medical conditions like diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis to simple health tips like how to get more sleep or advice on fitness. About.com has spent the last couple… Read More

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posted 3 days ago on techcrunch
 Electrification, sharing and autonomous drive are reshaping the future of transportation, with huge implications for the ecosystem and the world. Read More

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posted 3 days ago on techcrunch
 Amazon is ramping up the competition with other restaurant delivery services starting today by announcing that it will not mark up the menu prices of the items it offers on-demand via Prime Now Restaurant Delivery, and it will, in fact, refund customers the difference if they discover a higher price on Amazon’s service within 24 hours of placing their order. This “Price… Read More

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